Breeding group : Terrier
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GENERALBreed group: Terrier Type: Pure Breed
Talent: Hunting, Watchdog
PHYSICALSize: Small Weight: 10 - 25 lbs Fur length: Ears: Flappy Fur type: Straight
Fur Color: 3 Colors, Black, Black & Brown, Black & White, Brown & White
ATTRIBUTESLife Expectancy: 13 - 18 years Rarity: Common Availability: Easily available
Climate: Good for every climate
The Rat Terrier, an American breed, is often mixed up with the Jack Russell Terrier, an altogether different breed that nevertheless shares similar lines in its ancestry. Sometimes referred to as a feist, or a type of dog bred and cross-bred from other hunting dogs, the Rat Terrier is a popular hunting companion and family dog, especially in rural areas. The name speaks for the dog's ability and great use in getting rid of vermin; however, this may have also be indicative of the breeds origin's in England, where it was bet upon in a ring filled with rats. Rat Terriers come in two sizes, miniature and standard. The miniature is more popular as a house pet, while the bigger size more often accompanies hunters of above-ground prey. The Rat Terrier's sleekly muscled and streamlined build makes for a furious chase that ends with the prey being cornered and held for the hunter.
The coat of the Rat Terrier comes in a variety of colors and patterns. The most common one is pied, while solid colors with white markings, bi-colors (again, with white as one color), and spotted, patched or splashed patterns may come through. "Tan points" may or may not show.
The Rat Terrier is single-coated, with short, shiny fur lying close to the skin.
Properly socialized Rat Terriers can grow up to be not only great ratters around the farm, but great playmates and companions to a family as well. They possess typical terrier hunting instincts and moderate to high prey drive, but Rat Terriers in addition possess an ability to tone down their more active pursuits and just lounge around the house, tagging along after their owners and in general providing lively companionship. Intelligent as well as trainable, they enjoy tricks and games, and will generally get along well with other animals they have grown up with. They are reserved with strangers, though, and will give alarm barking in uncertain situations.
A curry mitt or a soft brush will keep the single coat shiny, and will aid in getting rid of stray hairs in seasonal shedding. Bathing is recommended only as needed.
Due its easygoing personality, the Rat Terrier is very trainable. Eager to please, clear and consistently given commands, coupled with positive reinforcement, will yield a well-rounded animal that can behave well or as required in a variety of settings.
The Rat Terrier's intelligence and high energy stores mean that it is happiest when engaged in physical and mental stimulation. Daily exercise is a must, and a leash is recommended for walks or runs, as strange or wild animals might be investigated or chased. Constant exposure and socialization from a young age is recommended, so the dog does not grow up timid. The Rat Terrier is also a breed that seeks to please; obedience classes will result in a well-trained dog that is easily dissuaded from or broken of budding bad behavior, such as digging or unnecessary barking.